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  • FIRST POST
    • Mark64uk
    • By Mark64uk 3rd Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • 72Posts
    • 40Thanks
    Mark64uk
    Refusing to pay renewal fee
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    Refusing to pay renewal fee 3rd Oct 17 at 3:35 PM
    Hi All,

    I moved into property in Nov 2015 and renewed 2016 i had an email last week saying that the landlord would offer another 12 month term but i now had to pay a £150 " Documentation fee" i questioned why i never had to pay this before and they replied as i wasn't informed as a good will gesture they have now reduced it to £110 nice of them eh ?

    I told them that the fee was unfair and that i should of been told about this when they introduced it and also pointed out they the government recognises that these fees were unfair and putting in steps to ban them there reply

    "The government have not yet announced any changes to the law regarding fees and therefore the £150 tenancy documentation fee is still chargeable."

    Basically we know they are wrong but tough.

    There is a clause in the tenancy that allows them to increase the rent by a certain % each yeah i think they are now using this fee to get round this as it effectively doubles my rent increase.

    Now i'm standing my ground on this because £110 to send a couple of emails and copy and past my name and address into a PDF is a SCAM !

    I've asked to go on a periodic tenancy to which they replied they don't offer them and a s21 was issued today and i was told if i wanted to vacate before this expires then i had to give one months notice ( Is this because i will in fact be on periodic after Nov 21st s21 expires on 5 dec)

    My question is should i just pay or stand my ground i'm willing to take this to the end as its the agent who is serving the s21 not the landlord i highly doubt the landlord knows as my whole estate is owned by an investment company and all 56 houses on the plot are rentals the agent indicated that i could pay the fee before the s21 expires i just think i'm being blackmailed by them.

    Thanks

    Mark

Page 3
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 4th Oct 17, 9:08 AM
    • 234 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    Car1980
    That page has changed since i took the tenancy there's no mention of documentation fees and there wast a list of fees when i signed up we have never had that list of fees sent to us.
    Originally posted by Mark64uk
    Yes - read up on OFT v Foxtons http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2009/07/10/oft-victory-in-foxtons-unfair-contract-terms-case/
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 4th Oct 17, 9:53 AM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 748 Thanks
    rtho782
    In this scenario I would consider the LA/LL (same thing, in as much as the LA are the LL's representives) hostile.

    As such, I'd plan to move out on 20th Nov, and hand back keys on 21st Nov, giving them no notice (end of fixed term) and a nice void.

    I'd also go no contact and refuse to respond to harassment to sign a new agreement.

    Yeah, you're screwing the LA/LL, but that's their own fault really, trying to screw you out of £150 and then issuing a S21 shows they would do it to you.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • Mark64uk
    • By Mark64uk 4th Oct 17, 6:39 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Mark64uk
    What date did your original tenancy start?

    The full checklist is worth doing.......

    See S21 checklist here.

    If you don't receive a paer copy by post by 5th Oct, then it may well be invalid as expiry date is 5th Dec
    Originally posted by G_M
    Posted copy arrived this morning i've had time to go through all the questions and these two show as being invalid

    Did the landlord give the tenant a copy
    of the “How to rent: the checklist for
    renting in England”20 guide before
    serving the notice?
    I have not had this.

    If i answer yes to the above i got to this question that when answered no said invalid

    Did the landlord give the tenant at least
    six months’ notice in writing, stating
    that it did not propose to grant another
    tenancy when the fixed term expires,
    and informing the tenant of how to
    obtain help or advice about the notice
    and any obligation the landlord owes to
    provide help or advice?
    But i don't know if that one counts as there initial email to me says

    If you wish to remain in your DifRent home then we would be delighted to offer you a further 12 month tenancy
    Its only because of the non payment of agent fees a fixed term isn't being offered.

    Also many thanks to all the people who have replied with help and advice

    ** EDIT just been looking at all my paperwork from when we moved in and ive never had this either **
    When the notice was served had the
    tenant been provided, free of charge, an
    energy performance certificate?
    Last edited by Mark64uk; 04-10-2017 at 6:44 PM.

    • G_M
    • By G_M 4th Oct 17, 9:12 PM
    • 42,330 Posts
    • 49,177 Thanks
    G_M
    Then it appears the S21 is invalid.

    Wait for the court application then submit a defence against possession based on an invalid S21
    • Mark64uk
    • By Mark64uk 6th Oct 17, 9:39 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Mark64uk
    Just a little update i emailed them yesterday with my stance and to tell them that i wouldn't be communicating further on the situation.

    Hi,

    I understand its standard practice to charge for renewal i have rented before the most ive ever been charged is £60, £110 is excessive for the service offered.

    The main problem is that i never paid this in 2015 and it has never been communicated to me or any any other Tennant and has been left until just before renewal to add that little bit of pressure into paying. I have seen on the company's Facebook page that on the 11th of September a communication was being put together to inform of the policy change its now the 5th of October and still nothing informing us, how big is this email.

    As in nearly all my emails im willing to sign for 12 months but im not willing to pay £110 for 30 minutes of someones time so if the fee was to reflect the true cost of the service id be happy to pay.

    This will be my final email on the situation if the above is not acceptable then there isnt a need to reply i will await the court papers and argue that the agent wasnt upfront with there fees and this is a retaliation eviction not by the landlord but by the agent for not paying third party fees as i have all the emails to show that a 12 month was being offered subject to hidden fee.

    Thank

    Mark
    To my surprise this was the reply

    Hi,



    I have discussed your renewal with management again to see if we can come to a positive outcome and on this occasion we are willing to cover the cost of the renewal fee and waiver it for you.



    If you would like to renew your tenancy agreement, please reply to this email confirming this and I will issue your renewal agreement to you.
    Id say that was a result

    • leslieknope
    • By leslieknope 6th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
    • 314 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    leslieknope
    looks like the greedy agents were pulled to task by the landlord, who is the one who will lose out on having a tenant gap! hurrah!
    CCCC #33: £42/£240
    DFW: £4355/£4405
    • Smevchenko
    • By Smevchenko 10th Nov 17, 3:51 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Smevchenko

    Heads up..... your next Thread will be about not getting your deposit back. See link above and visitors posts/reviews
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    We have just moved out of a house we rented with Difrent, and they can be a real pain to deal with. Some issues we had with the house were sorted out quickly, most of them took a long time, and needed repeat visits to fix....

    -Phone socket not installed correctly, internet not available for first 5 weeks of tenancy.
    -Kitchen sink tap, needed replacing 3 times, 4th one on the way out.
    -Drains were blocked with rubble from build, 3 attempts to clear blockage, each time worked for a few days, then backed up again. Eventually had to dig up part of the garden to access drain and replace.
    -New turf for above repair was only laid about 3 weeks after.

    They also insist on taking pictures of everything in the house every 3 months. We were not happy with this, which eventually led us to not renewing. I understand the need to take pictures, but surely only of damage or changes to the house, painted rooms, nails in walls etc.
    They take pictures of all your belongings etc, which I think is against the Data Protection act. They also let themselves in to do this after my wife cancelled a scheduled inspection.

    With regards to the deposit though, as long as you leave the house in good order, which we did, you will get your full deposit back.
    We had to re-turf a couple of patches in the garden where we had put storage, filled in holes in walls and repainted, cleaned oven properly, ensured all lightbulbs were working.
    If you don;t bother to do stuff like that, then you can probably expect to lose some of your deposit.

    They also owe us a months rent which was taken in error, and a cancelled new tenancy agreement fee, totalling £935..... which i'm hoping one day we might get back. Its been over a week for the rent, 3 weeks for the tenancy fee, and we keep being told the refund has been processed!
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Nov 17, 4:18 PM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Comms69
    We have just moved out of a house we rented with Difrent, and they can be a real pain to deal with. Some issues we had with the house were sorted out quickly, most of them took a long time, and needed repeat visits to fix....

    -Phone socket not installed correctly, internet not available for first 5 weeks of tenancy.
    -Kitchen sink tap, needed replacing 3 times, 4th one on the way out.
    -Drains were blocked with rubble from build, 3 attempts to clear blockage, each time worked for a few days, then backed up again. Eventually had to dig up part of the garden to access drain and replace.
    -New turf for above repair was only laid about 3 weeks after.

    They also insist on taking pictures of everything in the house every 3 months. We were not happy with this, which eventually led us to not renewing. I understand the need to take pictures, but surely only of damage or changes to the house, painted rooms, nails in walls etc.
    They take pictures of all your belongings etc, which I think is against the Data Protection act. They also let themselves in to do this after my wife cancelled a scheduled inspection.

    With regards to the deposit though, as long as you leave the house in good order, which we did, you will get your full deposit back.
    We had to re-turf a couple of patches in the garden where we had put storage, filled in holes in walls and repainted, cleaned oven properly, ensured all lightbulbs were working.
    If you don;t bother to do stuff like that, then you can probably expect to lose some of your deposit.

    They also owe us a months rent which was taken in error, and a cancelled new tenancy agreement fee, totalling £935..... which i'm hoping one day we might get back. Its been over a week for the rent, 3 weeks for the tenancy fee, and we keep being told the refund has been processed!
    Originally posted by Smevchenko
    How can it be taken in error?


    Either you didn't cancel standing order, or you use the direct debit guarantee to reclaim the money.
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